Public Service Announcement – Home Inspections on the Rise (3-minute read)

A number of homes have been purchased in the past several years without a home inspection.

Insufficient housing stock led to prioritizing our home buying decisions with emotions rather than logic. Ok, home buying is typically an emotional decision, but we still need to bring logic into the equation, or our dream home may be a nightmare or worse, not ours for very long.

Prioritizing emotions over logic often led to consequences of tens and even hundreds of thousands of dollars of defects discovered only after closing. Often without recourse because the buyer signed away their rights of a home inspection.

Even with high interest rates, homes are still being bought and sold.
Home Inspections are again becoming the norm.

We still need to perform due diligence and search for home inspectors with no vested interest in closing the sale. I’ve had people ask, are you a buyer’s or seller’s home inspector. The answer is neither. A home should be inspected on its own merit. An experienced inspector will help reinforce the fact that everything can be fixed, there’s no such thing as a perfect home. Experience knows the difference between calling out everything for Further Evaluation and helping a buyer maintain realistic expectations.

After almost 30 years of inspecting, my advice for selecting a home inspector hasn’t changed much. I recently tweaked it and ran a couple of prompts through some AI software. The results indicated that it will still be a while before I’m obsolete. Even with drones and thermal imaging, I can still provide a thorough report much cheaper than deploying a Boston Dynamics prototype. Down Spot!

Let’s meet at the inspection rather than afterwards when Expert Witness costs are significantly higher.

So, here’s my criteria for choosing a suitable home inspector. Caveat: my criteria is a bit more protective than AI's, but you be the judge.

Qualifications:

  1. (Home Inspectors in WI must pass a “minimum” competency exam) Expert Witness – This helps you discover defects that are most often
    overlooked
  2. Code Inspector – Though not required, this helps discover un-permitted work that could co$t you later
  3. Prior Construction background – often quicker to recognize sub-standard work

Experience:

  1. Minimum 10 years
  2. How many inspections – 10,000
  3. How many good/ bad reviews – min 100 w 98% positive
  4. What’s your State ID number? – Mine’s 7
  5. Insurance: E & O – Liability won’t protect you if something significant is missed
  6. Sample Report: Ask for one similar to the home you want
  7. Additional Services: Radon/ Mold/ Termites – bundling prices can get you a discount.
  8. Cost: – Yes, finally, compare pricing. It's important, but don’t save $50 and spend thousands on litigation afterwards.

Best,
Donn Anderson, Certified Master Inspector

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